S. Africa’s pro-BDS federation makes faux pas on World Refugee Day

Trade union mistakenly posts picture of Jewish refugees in plight to promote Palestinian cause

June 24, 2018 16:56
2 minute read.
S. Africa’s pro-BDS federation makes faux pas on World Refugee Day

Jewish refugees from Muslim countries in Israel . (photo credit: screenshot)


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South Africa’s largest federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, has been ridiculed on social media for posting a picture of Jewish refugees from Arab countries for World Refugee Day, trying to pass it off as showing Palestinian refugees.

The union – which has over two million members and supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – was lambasted for its actions by Twitter users as well as by international groups.

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In its post, COSATU wrote: “Today we commemorate #WorldRefugeeDay. Palestinians are the largest and longest-suffering group of refugees in the world says @BDSsouthafrica @UN @RTUKnews,” showing the picture below it.

The picture COSATU posted of the Jewish refugees was taken in 1950 at a Ma’abarot transit camp, where tin dwellings were provided to house up to 220,000 residents.

Many Twitter users shouted, “Check your sources,” using laughing emoticons and clapping hands.

“Your 2,000,000 members might be interested to know that’s a picture of JEWISH refugees after they were ordered out of their homes on Arab lands,” said Sussex Friends of Israel. “Still, we appreciate you highlighting the fact that many Jews also had to flee their home.”

“This is priceless,” tweeted Erick Dahan.

“Nice job,” highlighted user ChanaL20. “You actually managed to invalidate your own point by using a picture of Jews, the actual longest-suffering group of refugees (2000+ years of forced exile by other countries vs 70 years of self inflicted suffering).”

Josh Maraney retorted that “those are Jews being absorbed into Israel after being expelled from Arab countries. #fakenews #antisemites,” while Saul Danilewitz commended COSATU “for bringing to... world attention the plight of Jewish refugees exiled from their homes in the 40s and 50s.”

Twitter user Ari quoted Forrest Gump saying: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

A meme of Patrick Stewart from an episode of Star Trek face-palming, and GIFs of Marilyn Monroe saying “not very bright” and soccer players scoring an own goal filled the organization’s Twitter feed.

COSATU, an open supporter of BDS, announced its full support for the resolution to immediately and unconditionally downgrade the Israeli embassy in Tel Aviv, which was decided upon by the country’s ruling party, the African National Congress, at its 54th National Conference in December.   

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